Issues on Child Custody comes up when couples in Thailand decide to live separately or have a divorce in Thailand, or even for unmarried couples, and there are kids born from the marriage and out of the marriage.
Under the Civil and Commercial Law of Thailand, custody rights is exercised by the father, mother and a third person who acts as the legal guardian of the child until he or she reach the legal age of 20.
The legal rights of custodial parents are as follows:
To determine the place of residence of the child
To discipline the child reasonably
To require the child to work in line with his or her abilities and status
To demand the return of a child from anybody else, including another parent who does not have custody rights
To manage the property of a child but is restricted to sell, mortgage and exchange the property of the child without proper court approval
Child custody by mutual consent applies to married couples who are divorcing, both parents can enter into a divorce agreement which contains the details on how child custody can be shared. The agreement can also state the visitation rights and financial support for the child.
Child custody in Thailand by court decision applies for a divorce which has been granted by court, the same judge in the divorce shall handle and decide for the child custody case. However, the judge can appoint a third person as legal guardian of the child if it suits the best interest of the child. If the parent granted custody is proven incompetent or abusive of parental power, the judge may revoke parental power even after the divorce. The parent with custody or the public prosecutor can file a petition for change of custody anytime.
Child custody in Thailand for an illegitimate child applies for the parents of a child who are not married, only the mother of the child has sole custody over the child. The father can only exercise his paternal rights only if the child has been registered as the legitimate child of the father. The father has to register a legitimation of the child in Thailand with the local district office. If the mother and the child consent to such legitimation, then the father will be allowed to share custody or have sole custody of the child depending on the agreement between the father and mother of the child.